Planting woodland on a hill farm: potential impacts on income and land use
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Diversifying farming activity and income sources can potentially prevent further economic decline in hill farming areas. One option is to encourage woodland plantations in line with the Scottish Government’s aim of increasing cover from 17% to 25% by 2050. To assess the potential impact of increasing woodland on hill farm incomes, an optimisation approach based on a linear programming model was selected. Four scenarios were modelled: livestock production only, livestock with woodland/deer, woodland/deer with forestry incentive, and increase to 25% woodland cover. Optimisation results indicated that planting more woodland increased income overall, but at the expense of livestock (especially cattle) plus an increase to 25% woodland would require grant limits to rise by160%. If lowland areas are to be preserved for food production, only hill areas can contribute towards the 25% target and substantial financial incentives must be offered before viability of these options can be better assured.
Other Titles/Title of Conference
Agriculture and the Environment X, Delivering Multiple Benefits from our Land: Sustainable Development in Practice, Edinburgh, UK
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
Proceedings of the SRUC and SEPA Biennial Conference